Saturday, 3 October 2015
I have always encouraged people to pray a daily Rosary by noting that its power is that of the word of God: its prayers comes from the Sacred Scriptures so it is a verbal recitation of the word of God contained in the Bible, and it is a mediation on the life and work of the Divine Redeemer (the Word made Flesh) in bringing about the Atonement. What better power is there to draw upon in the universe than the very word of God Himself? None. Janet Moore, author of the blog ‘Entering into the Mystery’, has written a striking piece on the power of the Rosary here. Do go and read it, it recounts the power of the Rosary over the atomic bomb, the forces of Communism, the forces of Radical Islam and the power of the Devil.
If often think of the Rosaries I say as interlinked like a chain, by which I am building, by God’s grace, a ladder to heaven. Why not build one yourself? If you miss a day see it as a broken rung –and see an additional Rosary next day as a repair job. (The danger with this is that we can give ourselves permission to miss if we are doing regular repair jobs, and we may break so many rungs the ladder becomes weak and we stop using it. Never give up on the Rosary. It has its own power above and beyond the one who says it: it holds the power of God to thwart evil and save souls. It is the weapon, as St. Padre Pio would say! Here is the link to Janet again: ThePower of the Rosary. Do go and read her excellent post.
Friday, 2 October 2015
UP-DATED: Protestants Warn Catholics About Francis; Catholics warn Catholics about Synod. Vatican back-tracks on Kim Davis meeting
Strange header for this post, no? Not as strange as the reality it conveys, for high-ranking evangelical Protestants have warned Catholics that Pope Francis is left-leaning; taking the Church with him, and appears to have sided with the political left (seeLifesite News here). That makes for sad reading; protestant leaders are alarmed that in Francis’ speech to the joint session of the US Congress he never mentioned Jesus Christ (whose Vicar he is and whose name and teaching he is meant to proclaim). What might this imply to them and to the outside world (and to solid Catholics) about who Francis sees as the supreme teacher?
In my previous post I ventured to say Francis is too provincial, but I may have misconstrued his problem. Certainly he has won hearts by his embracing of the sick etc, but he is losing solid Catholics on a daily basis; only those with politically left leanings are likely to be faithful to him. Further, in promoting his image as the caring Francis yet failing to mention Jesus Christ, he has allowed people to make the claim that he has his own agenda at the centre of his vision, rather than the Gospel.
As if this were not problem enough for Francis, he has also left himself open to a charge of ‘speaking with a forked tongue’, for while he addressed victims of child sexual abuse and told them that clergy and bishops will be held accountable, he has personally invited Cardinal Danneels to the Synod on the family, yet Danneels has a history of telling an abuse victim to stay quiet about the abusing Bishop until the said Bishop had retired.
Few devout Catholics will be uplifted by Francis on his US trip; those who are happy with him are likely those who have no desire to uphold the Traditional Faith of the Church on marriage and the family, since these are the very issues Francis strikingly failed to defend before Congress. That this failure (as well as the failure to speak of Christ and the failure to denounce the evil of abortion) has concerned even non-Catholics, is disturbing.
In a country where the Church is being battered by secular forces which demand funding by Church groups for the anti-life Culture of Death (contraception and abortion); the same country which has legislated for homosexual pairings to be equivalent to God-given marriage, Francis ought to have spoken clearly and unequivocally of the teaching on the Church on these issues. Talk about the environment and social justice is all well and good, but failure to mention the right to life (upon which access to very other right depends); the failure to defend of the natural process of transmitting life, and even the failure to mention Jesus Christ, is a loss beyond words. Many are likely to view Francis as politically (or image) motivated rather than gospel motivated.
It has also been revealed (see Rorate Caeli here) that a shadow group of Jesuits are already drafting the post-synodal document by Pope Francis, apparently with his knowledge. If true this is a massive indictment against the current Roman Authorities, and explains why the reflections of the “small groups” (circuli minores) are not going to be shared, and why there will be no mid-term report: they will likely not be of the kind the shadow (shady?) people want.
UPDATE: So, the Vatican is claiming Kim Davis had no 'real audience' with the pope and that it should not be taken as support...well, coming so soon after a rebuke of the Pope by the Left, this looks very much like the Pope even regrets supporting solid Christian teaching and witness. Dear oh dear, what have we here? Will Fr Lombardi now have to say it was an audience and the pope does support Ms. Davis' position or what? The answer is 'what': what a mess we are in.
Friday, 25 September 2015
I truly believe Pope Francis has good intentions , but I admit to being bitterly disappointed by his address to the American Congress this week.
While some are saying that his statement that we have a “responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development” are a reference to the evil of abortion, I don’t think they are. They can be taken to refer to abortion, but in that he immediately went on to explicitly mention the death penalty he failed. He failed to mention the slaughter of innocents in the very arena (politics) that defends abortion as a human right for women. Supporters of abortion are thus entitled to say “Francis said to protect and defend human life but he did not mention abortion; he mentioned the death penalty; therefore his remarks are about the death penalty”. Can we really argue with that? Had he meant to include abortion he would have named it, surely, as he did with the death penalty?
At first I thought Francis was simply being a coward; that he is too afraid of offending the USA (or of losing his credibility with the political left) to tackle the supreme humanitarian crime in which the USA and other Western powers such as the UK engage. But it suddenly occurred to me: this is not cowardice. Why Francis does not mention abortion but seems obsessed with the environment and subsidiarity is nothing to do with cowardice, it is that he is simply too provincial to be a world leader; he is still preaching and leading in accord with the problems he saw in Argentina. Annulments there take several years; he has presumed it is the same the world over and imposed laws for rapid declarations of nullity; the condition of the poor in the shantytowns of Buenos Aires is extreme; he has assumed it is the same the world over.
It is not then that the Pope is a coward. Rather, it is that Francis is a provincial guy with a provincial view unsuited to global responsibilities. His mind-set is still in Argentina and he is preaching to Argentina and its problems. He has not progressed to seeing the whole view from his window at the Domus Sanctae Marthae; he still looks out and imagines he sees shantytowns everywhere. Undoubtedly there is poverty the world over, and it certainly needs to be addressed. Only the cold-hearted could say otherwise. But today’s spiritually poverty; the loss of the sense of sin and of grace- has led to the slaughter of millions of innocent lives by dismemberment while alive in the womb; the killing of the sick rather than the care of the sick, and the destruction of the natural family to which every child has a right. As such some of us see the greatest poverty as poverty of the spirit: until we change minds and hearts by the Gospel we will not end abortion, euthanasia or protect the family. So while we want to feed the hungry, clothe the naked; shelter the harbourless and visit the sick & imprisoned, we know that we must first instinct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful and admonish the sinner -without which hearts and minds will not change. Uninstructed by the Gospel the human person, predisposed by concupiscence, follows sin and darkness, not grace and light. Global leaders cannot afford to make important speeches on huge public stages and fail to mention the gravest evils of the day.
UP-DATE FOLLOWING CARDINAL DANNEELS REVELATIONS
UP-DATE FOLLOWING CARDINAL DANNEELS REVELATIONS
Revelations (see RorateCaelie here) that several Cardinals banded together in what one of them (Cardinal Danneels) described as a Mafia Club to actively canvas for Jorge Bergoglio so as to get a more modern Church, leaves a bitter taste of subversion. If these Cardinal-electors wanted and canvassed for their man so as to get a ‘modern Church’ (in fact, departure from the constant teaching of the Church), they must have known before hand what kind of catholic Bergoglio was/is, or they would not be seeking to elect him. This puts his actions at last year’s Extraordinary Synod, his nominations for this year’s Synod (and the exclusions he made), very disturbing and a picture of manipulation arising that is hard to avoid. It also puts his trip to the USA in a new light: he appears a willing puppet of men who seek to abandon the Faith of the Gospel for the ideologies of the world. I do hope he turns out to be another Pio Nono and come in liberal but go out strictly orthodox.
While we may yet be in for a period of great turbulence and division within the Church, but she will emerge even stronger than she was after Trent and before Vatican II, for Truth is Christ and Christ has conquered the world they are so enamoured by. Can we off any advice to the Cardinals involved? Yes, the advice of Christ Himself: “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers treated the false prophets in the same way”. To us Christ advises, “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you”, (Luke 6v26-27). In all honesty. if Christ’s words do not worry them, they have lost The Faith.
Wednesday, 16 September 2015
Has Pope Francis ‘let drop his mask’ -and indicated the untrustworthy nature of the current Episcopate?
When soon after his election Pope Francis was considered to be a liberal it was quickly declared that he is a loyal son of the Church. One wonders if this loyalty is what is being questioned in the remark that he has ‘let drop his mask’, as reported here by LifesiteNews. It is always possible that Francis is simply allowing dissent to come to the forefront so as to override it in the post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation.
Lifesite, however, records two striking stories around Pope Francis. The first is that the “a seven-page dossier that is now being privately circulated in the Vatican among Curial members who are opposing Pope Francis's recent decision to liberalize the process of marriage annulments” (as linked to above); the second is that a “major appeal by theologians urges Pope to delete ‘seriously defective’ Synod texts on contraception” (see Lifesite News here)
Taken together, these indicate that high-ranking voices are concerned about Pope Francis’s attitude towards immutable doctrine. I cannot help but recall a reaction first voiced in my own living room on the night Francis was elected: “I have a gut feeling that this man thinks that the Church belongs not him as its CEO, not to Christ, and that he will do untold damage to the Faith and the Church”.
When Cardinal Pell defended Francis as a loyal son of the Church it was interesting that the examples he gave were of a pope who is “very, very concerned for the day-to-day life of the people, and for those who are suffering, those not well off and those in difficult situations.” In my opinion the Cardinal’s defence could do little to stem the tide of criticisms of Francis; the two articles linked to above demonstrate a perception by many that Francis is not loyal to The Faith. Unfortunately the picture of Francis as having little regard for the doctrine of The Faith will only be made worse by his ‘selective selection’ of members for the up-coming Synod. As reported by that pinnacle of the Catholic Blogosphere Rorate Caeli, Cardinal Tong Hon seems to have been lied to by the Vatican as to why he is not being invited (age being said to be the reason), since many attending are older than he –including Cardinal Kasper. Meanwhile Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco –a warrior of a Bishop in one of the most sexualised communities in the USA- is exempted for no good reason (other than, like Cardinal Tong Hon, he is likely to hold to the Tradition of the Church). Truly, Francis has to be careful that he is not leaving to history a picture of himself as a Pope willing to manipulate a Synod to favour his personal agenda rather than the Tradition, using an impression of collegiality to do so. If, as I believe, Truth will win out, it may not be in this Synod but later in the Church’s life. After all, if Francis and the Synod can ditch all that has gone before for 2000 years plus, a future Pope and Synod can ditch Francis and the 2014/2015 shenanigans. Indeed those very shenanigans make this a real possibility, so don’t be too afraid of what happens in October. It will be a noteworthy but impotent blip in the history of the Church –ever heard of the Robber Council? It was the later-condemned Ephesus Council II.
The most disconcerting aspect of these shenanigans is that Francis is able to pick and choose among those who make up the episcopate. It is not sad that a Pope has the power to do this; rather, it is sad –if not alarming- that with the current state of the episcopate it is possible for him to choose between those who will and those who will not hold to the Tradition. We should not, as we currently are, hear folk voicing concerns over who will be attending the Synod: we should be able to trust the episcopate implicitly. Sadly, the ‘selective selection’ of those who will attend the Synod demonstrates that we cannot implicitly trust the episcopate. How sad this must be for those Bishops who are or who desire to be faithful to the Tradition but feel held back by their Episcopal brothers who have a liberalising tendency/agenda. Pray and fast for the Synod; God will reward the effort.
As Archbishop Fulton-Sheen would say, “The truth is the truth even if no one believes it, and error is error even if everyone believes it”. And The Truth will eventually win the fight, even if it loses a round at this Synod, because the Truth is Christ, and he has overcome the world.
Monday, 14 September 2015
uch a career, hobby or relationship, when it diminishes our devotion to the Mass, cannot be of God, for God does not bring about that which lessens our devotion to Him -and our hold on salvation.
Saturday, 12 September 2015
Collegiality is not, and this is by Divine Will, joint government of the Church by Pope and Bishops. There is to be a common solicitude for all the Churches (expressed via advice and support? –such as in a sharing of priests, of resources, of good practice points etc, and common statements reiterating official Church teaching) but not shared Governance since this intrinsically impacts upon and reduces the governance exercised by a Bishop in his own Diocese, for which he alone is accountable to the Divine.
There is much to be done. It is down to the Bishops to lead us, led by Rome. Oremus.
Thursday, 10 September 2015
NOTE: Vatican II tried to hold onto Traditional teaching and values and in this way is able to be read in a hermeneutic of continuity, but it also sought to open doors to the world and by doing so allowed ambiguous texts (thus texts of dubious orthodoxy) to creep in too; texts which Cardinal Kasper admitted were placed there deliberately: